President Trump ran his 2016 presidential campaign on a few huge promises to voters, including vows to leave Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security untouched and he has continued to make that promise but his new budget proposal says otherwise.
As recent as this past weekend, President Donald Trump vowed via tweet: “We will not be touching your Social Security and Medicare in Fiscal 2021 Budget” but just 24 hours later and he was proven a liar with a report from the Wall Street Journal which indicated that his budget targets the very things he has promised to leave alone.
The report came out just prior to the official release of the budget which shows that Trump’s $4.8 trillion budget does, in fact, include “steep reductions in social-safety-net programs” and will mean cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security disability programs:
The White House proposes to cut spending by $4.4 trillion over a decade. Of that, it targets $2 trillion in savings from mandatory spending programs, including $130 billion from changes to Medicare prescription-drug pricing, $292 billion from safety-net cuts—such as work requirements for Medicaid and food stamps—and $70 billion from tightening eligibility access to disability benefits.
These cuts should come as no surprise. His 2020 budget cut those three significant programs as well.
But let’s revisit his empty words. Back in 2015, Trump told the conservative Daily Signal, “I’m not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican and I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid” but Trump’s long term plan shows spending to be $1.5 trillion LESS on Medicaid over the next 10 years, $25 billion LESS on Social Security, and $845 billion LESS on Medicare. Sounds a lot like those cuts he promised not to make.
The Trump administration has tried to ease the public into these cuts by conveniently dropping the “Medicaid” portion of Trump’s promise, suggesting, for example, in a statement from the Office of Management and Budget Deputy Director Russ Vought, that the president is “keeping his commitment to Americans by not making changes to Medicare and Social Security.” But it’s simply not true. While Trump made the direct claims that he would not be like “every other Republican” in making cuts to those programs, it’s clear to see he has and will continue to cut them as he sees fit.
Vought said, “He’s not cutting Medicare in this budget,” and continued, “What we are doing is putting forward reforms that lower drug prices. Because Medicare pays a very large [share] of drug prices in this country, [that] has the impact of finding savings. We are also finding waste, fraud, and abuse.”
Trump told the Daily Signal in 2015: “I’m not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican and I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid.” Right. And how many tweets were made with the same sentiment? I dare not count. The budget proposal shows that these were empty vows.
Despite his campaign promises, the Trump administration’s budgets and policies have shown his true colors, particularly reflected in the appointment of Trump’s budget chief Mick Mulvaney, who has a long history of supporting cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Mulvaney is on record saying that he tricked Trump into proposing Social Security cuts just by calling Social Security a different name- welfare- and getting the President on board with that.
Furthermore, Trump has supported every repeal and replace idea Republicans have offered, even hosting a party for House Republicans in the White House Rose Garden when a proposal passed that would cut more than $800 billion from Medicaid over the next decade.
Trump would very much like to have his cake and eat it too- that is, he will actually suggest that he’s not proposing cuts while proposing cuts. Head spinning? Ours too.
Treasury Department spokesperson Monica Crowley was asked during a Monday morning appearance on Fox Business if she agrees that the new budget “hits the safety net” and she said the president “understands that Washington’s habit of out of control spending without consequence has to be stopped.”
Trump insists that Republicans are the ones desperately trying to save entitlement programs from cuts because the truth is that as long as Democrats control a chamber of Congress, THEY are the ones keeping the programs safe from destructions.
“Congress will stand firm against this President’s broken promises and his disregard for the human cost of his destructive policies.”House Budget Committee Chair John Yarmuth (D-KY)
House Budget Committee Chair John Yarmuth (D-KY) blasted Trump in a statement he released recently for “proposing deep cuts to critical programs that help American families.” He said that the “budget reportedly includes destructive changes to Medicaid, SNAP, Social Security, and other assistance programs that help Americans make ends meet — all while extending his tax cuts for millionaires and wealthy corporations… Congress will stand firm against this President’s broken promises and his disregard for the human cost of his destructive policies.”